Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

[ The setting: Firestone. The player: me. The turkey day teams: dark meat (L) vs. light meat (R)]

If you're wondering what we're doing in Liberia to celebrate Thanksgiving...well, here's a recap of the day.

We took today off, and we decided to do something alittle different. We decided to go play 9 holes of golf at Firestone. Granted, most of us have only played a round of golf once or twice, but, it makes for a full day of priceless entertainment. We played a best-ball scramble, and made 2 teams--in honor of the Thanksgiving turkey that we wouldn't be eating, our teams were 'light meat' and 'dark meat'--based on the unplanned color of our trousers. [We're really scientific around here!] And, 5 hours later, we were still [almost] having fun! In all fairness, 'light meat' won by 4 strokes. After we finished, we sat down to our Thanksgiving meal of cheeseburgers and french fries in the clubhouse...which were pretty tasty!

On a more serious note, when you live in Liberia, and are surrounded by poverty, it's easier to grasp the concept of being thankful. I am SO thankful for SO many things! Actually, when I was in the shower thinking about what I'm thankful for, things didn't come to mind first, it was people. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for my ORR family. I am thankful for my church family. I am thankful for all of the people who have walked beside me--whether it's been with prayer, finances, a word of encouragement, or just listening to my stories about Liberia. I am most thankful for a God who knows me and loves me, who will never leave me and always provides for me. I am thankful for all of the wonderful people in Liberia that I've grown to love...especially all of the children that make my days full of joy. After all of the people, then I moved onto the things. I am thankful for a roof over my head, food in my stomach and a safe place to sleep at night. I am thankful for clothes and shoes. I am thankful for my house and car. I am thankful for the opportunity to go to school and receive good healthcare. I could go on and on, but I just wanted to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, and let you know that I am thankful for all of you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

[ok, so i lied. it's over 80 degrees and i'm sweating. there are no trees, wreaths or candy canes. and it for sure doesn't smell like pine, snow or cinnamon.]

I'm challenging you all to give better gifts this Christmas. Partner with Orphan Relief and Rescue to give meaningful, live-changing gifts to orphans in Liberia this holiday season! There are six gift options, big and small, that you can give for Christmas. You can also give a gift on someone's behalf. Just think, do you really need another 'thing' for Christmas? (God's been teaching me alot about need versus want.) What about giving a hungry child food for Christmas? Or how about giving children, like Joeline (above) the gift of not having to sleep on a concrete floor or moldy foam pad?
I don't want to guilt you into buying a meaningful gift, but I encourage you to check out the Christmas gifts available on our website.

Give a gift that will change a life!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There Once Was A Boy...

...named Omito. He is quite possibly the cutest kid ever! I met him almost 3 weeks ago at Benson Hospital. He looked horrible...his entire was body was swollen and his skin was falling off. He and his mom shared a bed next to Gifty. The first time he saw us he was scarred, but then he started to warm up to the white people. Anyway, I have truly enjoyed seeing him every time I've gone to the hospital to visit Gifty. To watch his health improve, and to watch the kid inside slowly come out has been wonderful. He never says a word, but always responds by looking up at you with his big eyes, raising his eyebrows and does an 'I Dream of Jeanie' head boing (if that makes sense, haha). Now he smiles and laughs when we visit him.

Omito was discharged today!! I stopped by to say goodbye to him and his mom and spent some time playing. His mom gave us her phone number, and told us that they live by 15-Gate in Firestone...which is a good distance from here. I could tell that Omito knew what was going on, and so when it was time for me to leave, I shook his hand and said 'later on'. Man, I'm going to miss that kid!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Day at FG

This morning I decided that I would walk from the house to FG orphanage. It was my first attempt to explore the 'short cut' from our house to FG, and I made the wise choice of setting out just when it started to get hot! Up the hill, through the block-making site, down the hill, through lots of people's yards, through the creek, up the steel door and over the culverts I went [seriously, I need to video the trek next time]. There was a nice man on the road who helped me find my way...but 30 minutes, and lots of sweat later I made it to FG! I spent the whole day there...and it was fabulous! Here are some pictures from the day.

(Top L clockwise: sewing with the girls, getting my hair done, playing a mean game of kickball, kids with Piko-my monitor, Jeremiah's shades, making funny faces.)

And Lucky's pic was too cute to not include! She's the same girl that makes you all smile everytime you visit my blog--she's the cutie laughing in my header!

Friday, November 7, 2008

My New Friend

[Blogger hasn't let me upload pictures for a very long time--so that's why now all that I'm posting is pictures.]

I want to introduce you to my friend Jessie. Jessie lives in the neighborhood, and I always stop by to visit whenever I take a walk to the beach. When I was little, I saw some movie where a girl had a pet chimp. Ever since then I've wanted a pet chimp. Although Jessie's not my pet, it's close enough. She's about 1 year old and she's super sweet! And, in true ORR fashion, Jessie is an orphan. Her mom was shot and killed while Jessie was riding on her back. Jessie's hand was shot and a few of her fingers on her left hand are disfigured because of the gunshot wound.

The first time I met her she started scooting towards me because she wanted me to pick her up. I was pretty freaked out because there are alot of mean monkeys in Liberia! But the kids who own her said she was friendly, so then I picked her up. She usually just wants you to pick her up and she will wrap her arms around you, and alot of times she falls asleep. She's pretty cute...but she also looks like a little old man, haha. I've slowly been introducing Jessie to the rest of the team...some of us are wanting our very own chimp. We're not quite sure how One Love would get along with a chimp, and we're pretty unsure about the whole potty training thing. Regardless, I enjoy visiting Jessie, and I think she likes it when the weird white people come for a visit.